Windy Winnie

Another hot summer evening and Hannah was getting ready for bed.  The stars lit up the clear skies and the moon was making an appearance over the mountain.  Hannah opened her window to let in the cool night time breeze. The curtains began to dance on the window sill as the wind crept into her bedroom.  She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and rolled over onto her side.  She was just about asleep when she heard a loud gust of wind blow against her window. It blew the curtain wide open and knocked a small stuffed teddy bear onto the floor.

Hannah got out of bed, picked up her teddy bear and closed the window to prevent further big gusts from coming into her room.  She returned to her bed and was about to drift off to sleep again when all of a sudden she heard a quiet voice say, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to knock over your teddy bear or wake you up.”

Hannah turned on the light and jumped out of bed.  She looked around to see who was talking.  But no one was in her room. Then she noticed up by the window, a white misty image with a big mouth and two small eyes.  “Who are you?” asked Hannah in a somewhat frightened, excited voice.

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The misty image replied, “I am the Wind.  My name is Windred, but my friends call me Winnie.  I am sorry if I frightened you, but I accidentally blew into your room and couldn’t get out again after you closed the window.” Hannah was now wide awake and asked, “What is wind, and what makes wind?” Winnie, now feeling a little more at ease said, “Well, wind is just moving air.”  Actually the sun creates the wind all over the world.  The sun heats the air over lakes, oceans and land areas, all at different temperatures.” “There are two types of air, warm air and cool air.  The warm air is light and the cool air is heavy,” she explained.

“When the sun heats up air, it becomes warm and then rises.  The cooler air, being heavier, quickly slides under the warm air to replace it, and that causes the wind.  At night in the warmer months, lake or ocean water is usually warmer than the shoreline and outlying areas or mountains.”  Winnie continued, “Air over the water rises because it is warm.  The cooler air from the mountains and shore rush out to the water to replace the warm air that has risen up into the sky.  That causes wind to blow from the mountains to the ocean or lake.” “In the daytime, the land is warmer than the water and so the wind usually blows from the lake or ocean toward the land.  Warm air over the land rises and the cool water air quickly comes ashore to replace the warm air that has gone up towards the sky.  That is why it is usually always windy near the ocean because of air temperature differences between the water and land,” she finished.

“Does that make sense to you?” Winnie asked.  “Sorry, I didn’t get your name.” “My name is Hannah, and yes, I sort of understand now what wind is and how it is made.” said Hannah. Winnie went on with her story, “There are millions of us Gusts of Wind working all over the world.  I have an Uncle Gus who usually works up and down the British Columbia coastline and an Aunty Breeze who spends most of her time in the interior of BC.”

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“We all have numerous jobs and locations we have to go to once we get our blowing orders from our Head Office and Main Control Centre.” “Like tonight,” Winnie said.  “My orders were to keep the skies clear of clouds for a special parade that is scheduled for tomorrow in your town.  It is a good thing there were a bunch of us working tonight or the job might not have been done.” “What other wind jobs have you done Winnie?” asked Hannah.

“Well,” she said.  “Last week I was at Harrison Lake for the annual International Kite Flying Competition.  A bunch of us had to be blowing strong all day to ensure the kites stayed in the air.  The next day they had a Glider demonstration and contest so again we had to make sure there were enough gusts and breezes in the air to keep everything flying.”

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“Then my uncle Gus got called away from his regular duties on the BC coast, to assist in supplying wind to a large Windmill and Turbine project in southern Alberta.  That project supplies electrical power to thousands of homes in Canada and the United States,” explained Winnie.

“And my sister Gale, got a call to go to Tofino, on Vancouver Island.  She had to provide large waves in the ocean so the surfers could enjoy a few good days of surfing. In the evening she moved inland to make a gentle breeze so the Wind Chimes at the local restaurants would tinkle and sway to entertain the customers with relaxing sounds.”

Just then Winnie’s cell phone rang. She blew herself to the window and looked out as she was talking quietly on the phone.  She then ended her call and quickly sent out a couple of emails. “Excuse me Hannah, I just have a little business to attend to.  I have to arrange for some wind in Denmark and then a breeze in Greece.  It sounds like they are having a sailboat regatta there this weekend.” Then Winnie’s phone rang again.  She answered it quickly and again blew over to the window and looked out.  She talked on the phone, “Ok, yup, sure, no problem,” then hung up.
She looked at Hannah and said, “Hey Hannah, want to come on a little job with me now?  That was the airport that just called and they need some wind to blow through the Wind Bag so pilots will know which way the wind is blowing.  Then they can select the correct runway to use.  They also mentioned that fog is beginning to roll onto the runway and they may have to close the airport if it doesn’t lift.  We might be awhile if we have to keep the fog away?

Hannah thought for a minute, then said, “Sure, I would love to.  Opportunities like this don’t come around very often.” “Great, hang on to me tight, open the window and we will be off”, said Winnie.  Hannah reached over and slid the window open.  Then both her and Winnie blew off into the night time sky.

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“Wow!  This is like flying through the air without an airplane.” yelled Hannah.  Within seconds Winnie was in sight of the airport.  She puffed her mouth and lips up real big and let out a gigantic burst of air that blew branches, leaves and debris all over the airport.  The big wind bag began to turn and fill with air and pointed to the correct runway.
“Good Job”, yelled Hannah.  Winnie gave another big burst of air and the wind whistled all the way down the airport run way.  Then Winnie turned around and began blowing the fog away that was now beginning to drift onto the runway.

“Oh No, the fog is getting thicker and heavier, I am not sure if I can blow it all away by myself,” said Winnie.  “All my other wind partners are busy doing their best keeping other clouds out to sea.  The fog is forming fast!”  Winnie kept blowing the hardest she could to keep the runway open and clear of fog.

Suddenly Winnie’s cell phone rang.  Between great bursts of wind coming out of her mouth she managed to talk briefly on the phone.  “Oh No!  That’s Terrible, How Horrible!” said Winnie.  “What’s the matter Winnie?” asked Hannah. “There is a large airplane with 350 passengers on board circling above at 35,000 feet.  It was on a flight from China to Vancouver, BC, but it got caught in a thunder and lightning storm and lost all electrical power and communication with Vancouver Control Tower.  Vancouver could see it on radar but can not contact them on the radio.  They are also running low on fuel and can probably only fly for about another 10 minutes,” Winnie said. Then she continued, “The Campbell River Airport is their closest place to land but they can’t find it without navigation instruments.

Even if they could find it the fog may prevent a safe landing.  Vancouver Tower attempted to contact the military base in Comox for assistance, but due to shortage of time and dense fog, they will be unable to help in guiding this aircraft down safely to the airport.  What a tragic situation!”

Just then Hannah had an idea.  She said, “Winnie, Quick!  Take me back to my bedroom.  I think I can help the airliner land safely!  Winnie looked puzzled and said, “How can taking you back to your bedroom help the stricken airliner?”  Hannah pleaded, “Please let’s go now!  No time to explain”.  “Ok,” Winnie said, “But fog is forming again on the airport runway.”

Then with a huge bellow of wind Winnie and Hannah blew off towards her house and bedroom.  Within minutes they arrived back in her bedroom.  Hannah yelled to Winnie, “Hurry jump onto my bed with me and hang on tight”.  Winnie still startled, did as she was told but had no idea of what Hannah had in mind.

Hannah raised her feet, leaned back and clenched her fists real tight.  Suddenly her bed rose from the floor and slowly passed through the wall and outside into the sky.  “Hey, your bed can fly”, yelled Winnie. “I will explain later, but first we have to go rescue that airplane and escort it to the airport,” said Hannah.  Hannah’s bed headed straight up into the sky at a remarkable speed, even faster than the wind could blow.  Her bed sheets all blew off and the bed frame was shaking and rattling.

Within minutes they spotted the stricken airliner and heard the roar of the jet engines as it circled round and round.  It had no lights except inside the cockpit area it appeared the pilots were trying to read maps with a small flashlight. Suddenly everything went deathly quiet.  The planes engines stopped.  They were out of jet fuel.

Their only hope now was to glide to the airport.  Hannah flew her bed right next to the cockpit area of the plane and waved to the pilots.  The pilots stared as if they were in a trance looking at Hannah flying her bed.  They were wondering if maybe they were dreaming or hallucinating due to lack of oxygen.  Hannah tried calling the pilot on her satellite phone but got no answer.

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She then called Campbell River Airport Tower, to advise them that she will be attempting to have the airliner follow her to the airport and attempt an emergency landing if Winnie could clear the runway of fog.

Finally Hannah got the pilots attention and she motioned them to follow her so she could escort them to the airport where they could attempt to land.  The huge airliner slowly began its decent through the thick cloud closely following Hannah on her flying bed.  As they approached 2000 feet she veered left and began her downwind leg of the approach to the airport.  She yelled at Winnie to come up front and lean over the bed and when they are on the final approach to the runway blow as hard as she could to clear all the fog away so the pilot of the plane could land safely.

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Then at 1000 feet Hannah turned her bed onto a right hand base leg and then eased into her final approach heading.  Winnie immediately began blowing as hard as she could.  Hannah glanced back and saw the huge dark airliner right behind her.
Suddenly the runway lights all came on and Hannah and the airline pilot could see the runway clearly.  Winnie had temporarily blown all the fog off the runway.  The huge plane neared the beginning of the runway and was about to land.  Hannah and Winnie then accelerated up and turned right to circle the airport to watch the big airliner. It was all very quiet.

All of a sudden the sound of tires screeching on the asphalt runway could be heard.  The pilots applied the brakes and the tires smoked.  The plane then began to veer off the runway to the right but the pilot managed to straighten it out.  Then it began to slow down as it approached the end of the runway. The tires caught on fire as the plane slid off the end of the runway and into a farmer’s field.  Within minutes fire trucks and ambulances were at the scene and the small fires were extinguished.  The plane was safely on the ground and there were no injuries to the passengers or crew.
Hannah then flew her bed down close to check on everything and waved to the pilots as they were getting out of the plane.  The passengers were all exiting the plane as well.  As Hannah and Winnie flew skyward they looked back at the airport and could see the passengers and crew waving at them and then heard a Big Cheer from everyone that was on the plane.

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Within minutes Hannah gently glided her bed quietly back into her bedroom.  Both she and Winnie breathed a sigh of relief.  “WOW,” they both said together as they quietly laid back on the bed.  “Now that was an adventure like I have never had before,” said Winnie.  “Me too”. answered Hannah.

“Anyways, Winnie, I guess you are wondering about my flying bed and how I fly it?” said Hannah. “Well, yes for sure, you are full of surprises Hannah.” said Winnie. “Well I am a little tired right now, but if you read the story, “The Magical Flying Bed” on this web site you can find the complete story. “I will do that for sure when I get off shift later today,” said Winnie.

“It has been a pleasure and a great experience meeting you Hannah, but now I must go and get back to work and help my fellow wind buddies.” “Yes, I enjoyed meeting you too, Winnie.  I think we work well together, so if you ever need some assistance out this way, don’t hesitate to give me a call or just blow in for a visit.” said Hannah.  Hannah then slid the window wide open and Winnie stood up on the window sill, looked back at Hannah, gave her a little wave and then vanished into the air.  Hannah closed the window and jumped into bed and fell into a deep, peaceful sleep.

The next morning Hannah’s Dad came into her room to wake her up.  “Hannah, good morning, time to get up.  Where are all your bed sheets?” he asked. Hannah rolled over and muttered, “I don’t know, maybe I got hot in the night and took them off.” “Oh well, it is a beautiful day today, no fog or clouds in the sky with a nice gentle breeze blowing, a perfect day for a parade downtown,” said Hannah’s dad.

Just then Hannah’s Mom picked up the morning newspaper and said, “Hey, there is a news story about a large Chinese Airplane that had to make an emergency landing at the Campbell River Airport last night in the fog.  It says that the plane was circling for a few hours before running out of fuel after it suffered electrical problems from being caught in a lightning storm,” she read.  Then she continued, “It was escorted down from the sky by an Unidentified Flying Object.  This UFO directed the plane right to the runway and even cleared the fog so the pilot could land safely.

After the pilot of the plane was interviewed it became quite apparent that his English interpretation as to what happened was very strange.  After translation it came out that he was rescued from the sky by a young girl flying in a bed with a large wind blower in the front clearing the runway of fog.” “Now that is weird!” said Hannah’s Mom.  “What an imagination those Chinese pilots must have!”

 

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